Wilhite's 50th Wedding Anniversary Clarence Marvin and Susan Wilhite will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary at Simpson's Park North Bend, Oregon, May 3rd from 11 am until??? The celebratin will be hosted by their children Katherine Johnson and Lawrence Wilhite and will be Potluck. No gifts please.
Clarence joined the Merchant Marines a day after his 18th birthday, January 4, 1944. He and Susan Jones were [married] in the Nazarene Church on 7th Street, Ottawa, Kansas. They left for Oroville, California and Clarence went to sea-duty, where he was a fireman on the ships on which he served. Prior to marriage he sailed on tankers, but after marriage to get a safer ship, he sailed on the Brazil Victory out of San Francisco. It proceeded to Long Beach where it loaded bombs destined for Melbourne, Australia and Calcutta, India. [The ship returned around Africa, loaded] with cocoa beans and latex rubber, [landing in] Philadelphia Oct. 19, 1945 after the war was over.
Susan worked in Oroville, California at Hibb's Cafe until Clarence returned.
He then worked for Western Pacific Railway as a fireman on the line from Feather River to Winnemucca, Nevada. They returned to Ottawa, Kansas where Clarence worked at a college as a mason helper and road construction in mid-western Kansas, but in 1947 Clarence hitched and worked wheat fields to Oregon. He took a job running a drag-saw at a logging camp. Sue joined him in Dallas, Oregon in a two-room apartment after riding the train all the way from Kansas, with 18 month-old Kathy. Sue and daughter made it to Dallas, Oregon, but their belongings ended up in Dallas, Texas. Clarence then worked in the power plant of Willamette Valley Lumber and Plywood for 11 years. Sue had three more children and operated a restaurant through 1956-57 in Irish Warner's Grocery Store in Dallas and from there to Newberris in Salem, Oregon to 1958. The Wilhite's moved to Lebanon, Oregon in 1958 and Sue worked at Lipman-Wolf in Corvallis. Clarence was a turbine operator at Cascade Plywood. In April 1961 Clarence went to work for Menasha Pulp and Paper, North Bend, before the mill opened and stayed until January 1988 when he retired, During that time Sue worked at the Hub in Coos Bay for ten years and then General Telephone for 1971-1988 when she retired.
After retiring, the Wilhite's became "snowbirds" and went to Arizona in the winters. They sold their home in North Bend in 1994, moving to Arizona in June in time for a record-hot summer. The Wilhite's live at: 11415 East 34th Place, Yuma, Arizona.
They have four children: Katherine Johnson of Coos Bay, Oregon; Phyllis Dincan of Fairfield, California; Marvin Wilhite of Vallejo, California; Lawrence Wilhite of Coos Bay. There are 11 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service for Clarence M. Wilhite, 78, of North Bend, will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, at Nelson's Bay Area Mortuary, Fourth and Elrod, Coos Bay. The Rev. Michael Calhoun and Larry Ross will officiate. Cremation rites will be held.
Clarence was born Jan. 3, 1926, in Little Rock, Ark., the son of Lucian P. and Beulah (Hutchison) Wilhite. He died Nov. 28, 2004, in Coos Bay.
He was raised and educated in Waverly, Kan., and then came to the Northwest as a young man. He worked in Eastern Washington before joining the Merchant Marine during World War II. On May 3, 1945, he was married to Susan Jones in Ottawa, Kan., and they made their home in Oroville, Calif., until after the war. They moved back to Kansas for a short time and then to Dallas, Ore., where he worked the graveyard shift at Willamette Industries and was a gyppo logger during the day. The family then moved to Lebanon and then, in 1961, to North Bend. Clarence was an operating engineer, retiring from Weyerhaeuser in 1988.
He was a member of the BPOE No. 1160, National Rifle Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and the Merchant Seaman Organization.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing, was a jack-of-all-trades and built two of the homes they lived in. He liked to travel and spend time in Yuma, Ariz.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Wilhite of North Bend; sons, Marvin Wilhite of North Bend and Lawrence and Marilyn Wilhite of North Bend; daughters, Katherine and Donald Wisely of Coos Bay and Phyllis Duncan of Fairfield, Calif.; 15 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and brothers, Floyd Wilhite of Topeka, Kan., and Kelly Wilhite of Dallas.
He was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Donald Duncan; four brothers, Willy, Harry and twins, Ted and Fred Wilhite; and two sisters, Lilly Wilhite and Beulah Hart.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nelson's Bay Area Mortuary, 267-4216.
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